You have to be selfish, to make yourself numero uno.
I find myself “counseling” friends on this all the time. We, maybe as women, tend to give to everyone and everything else. We run ourselves ragged trying to make others happy. But, it doesn’t work, and you can’t sustain it.
You NEED to find time for you, in order to be the best version of yourself.
The daily grind is just that… grinding. A little solitude is a gift to yourself. Today more than ever we’re used to trying to find ways to fill our alone time. Calling friends and family during a car ride home, going out with others instead of just yourself, texting friends when you’re waiting at a doctor’s office or even going on Amazon to order something for your kids or husband while waiting somewhere else.
Press pause. Seriously, hit the pause button ASAP.
My counselor recently encouraged me to find more solo quality time.
I’m constantly in this crazy circle (I’m such a “yes” person) of giving to my kids, husband, friends, clients, staff, blog, volunteer commitments, etc that I can be left with nothing for me.
How do you start making time for yourself?
I started finding pockets of time for me, some more than others.
If you can’t find an hour for a relaxing yoga class go for a walk, sit in a park or by the water. I was literally leaving a meeting a few months ago passing this gorgeous spot with a water view… impulsively, I pulled over, got out of the car (left my phone there) and just sat for 15 minutes. I had no distractions. I was present and it felt so good. So relaxing and recharging.
You can either make excuses that you don’t have the time — promise, I’ve been there — or you can make you a priority and make it happen.
Other ways to find time?
— Wake up earlier. Ugh, I’m so not a morning person, but even 15 extra minutes to collect your thoughts, to enjoy coffee without interuptions can be blissful.
— Close your door (or hide in the bathroom!): seriously, close your door at the office, put in some headphones and zone out if you have to. And, I’m only half joking about the bathroom; ever wonder what guys do for 30 minutes in there? Ha, hiding out I’m sure! Make yourself that bath you’ve been thinking about for months.
— Put your phone down. The thing, and all its apps, are giant, enormous time sucks.
Finding time for you is also important for your mental health (as well as physical!).
I was candidly feeling a little depressed this past year. Nothing major but I didn’t feel HAPPY. Which, I do think is OK sometimes because the ups and downs help you better experience the joy when it comes.
That said, solitude is a critical opportunity for you to take stock in your life and to evaluate. What’s bringing you joy? What’s not working? It can be super little or life changing but freeing yourself from distractions and outside voices is key to finding a solution that’s right for you.
The above means… you’re finding your voice. Your meaning, and own true thoughts.
It can be exhilarating, freeing, and perhaps, scary. And, that’s OK.
I’ve been able to make some big and small changes to find greater happiness (more on that in the near future) and it felt really good to be honest with myself.
Solitude also enables you to be better in relationships. Ironic, but true. It’s two fold… as you get to know yourself better, including your priorities and interests, it will help you as you connect with others. I also find myself less frazzled after alone time at the gym, for example, and then have more to give to someone else.
By the way, everything here is particularly important to parents. Do you see me grabbing the door below fake trying to hide? 🙂 Mama needs a break. You give of yourself, mentally and physically, each and every day and usually according to someone else’s schedule and body clock. Man, it’s exhausting. While yeah, I love my kids more than anything, time for myself is critical and I’m selfish about it. And, I have way too many mama friends who aren’t, even though you can tell they’re desperate for it.
So, prioritize you. Prioritize you as much as you can.
Shhhh, don’t tell my family I’m hiding out here. 😉
photos via South Moon Photography